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Technical Young hot rodder needs help...badly Stuck Engine

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by F-ONE, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,067

    from Alabama

    A young man and new hamber has this stuck flathead he is trying to save.

    I know that the chemical reaction with aluminum and iron makes a bond that is very hard to break. Do any of you have suggestions on how he can free this engine?

    My first thought, after he removes all he can unbolt (heads, timing cover, timing gears, pan) is to let it soak in a molasses bath for a couple of months. After that and cleaned up then he can try t0 free it.

    Any suggestions?
  2. Iv heard of old tricks like soaking it in diesil for a while and setting fire to it works to free up stuck motors, soaking it in oil and heat definitely help in freeing anything stuck, im sure others will have some good suggestions too

  3. I like the molasses bath idea. I put a Desoto block in a 55 gallon drum of molasses and let it sit for a month. Molasses will dissolve the rust but it may need to soak in a penetrate afterwards. Give it a good power wash to remove the oil/grease first or it will spoil the molasses.
  4. hotrodderhaag
    Joined: Jan 22, 2007
    Posts: 2,129


    its going to need bored obviously. I would just let the machine shop cut the pistons out. I did an old oliver tractor engine that way. They used a fly cutter and cut the top of the poston off, then he used a torch, heated the piston up from the inside and shoved it right out. all 4 were stuck and he save the liners by removing them that way
    just a thought .
    Saxon likes this.

  5. 41hemi
    Joined: Jul 2, 2007
    Posts: 982


    In the pic it looks like the crank is not in the block. That said I'd set the block so one bank of pistons are level to the ground. Put diesel up to the top of the block on the frozen pistons. Let it set a few days. In the meantime make a block of wood to fit the cylinder loose so it runs up and down the cylinder. Use this block of wood to tap on the frozen pistons from the top. Once you have movement try using a brass drift from the pan side to tap up on the piston. This method worked for me on one of my old Desoto hemi block.
  6. You will spend a lot of time and energy getting that apart and the block still might be junk. The valves will be almost impossible to get out without a torch.
    I would suggest finding an engine in better condition.
    I'd be careful with the molasses....I ruined a cast iron cylinder head soaking it in vinegar (same type acid).
  7. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,954

    from New York

    By the looks of your pictures the only thing you are going to want to use, HOPEFULLY, is the block. The valve guides are likely frozen and the valve mushrooms cut off to get them out. You are going to have to replace them anyway. Perhaps if you strip all the parts from the block that you can, bring it to a shop that can boil it out and when you get it back soak the heck out of the pistons with penetrating oil. Keep in mind that it probably take a while if you can get the pistons out at all! IF you do get it apart and before you spend any money, have the block checked for cracks. Take your time, you don't want to damage the block IF you can use it. Good luck, I admire your enthusiasm! Keep us posted.
  8. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,608

    Rusty O'Toole

    A while back Don Dolmetsch described freeing up a similar engine on this board. It was a Dodge 318 from the sixties that had been sitting for years in a junkyard with no carb or air filter on it.

    He dunked the whole block in a plastic barrel full of water with a few handfuls of washing soda. Connected it to a battery charger and cleaned it by electrolysis.

    When he pulled it out all the rust washed off and everything came apart easily.

    Do a web search for "rust electrolysis cleaning" or similar.


    Did a quick search and found this thread
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2014
  9. mike bowling
    Joined: Jan 1, 2013
    Posts: 3,556

    mike bowling

    Whoa,Nelly! That one's definitely a candidate for the intensive care unit.Clean it up the best you can, and like Mr. " woodiewagon46" said, check for cracks under where the heads bolt on and around the oil pan flange before you kill yourself getting it apart. Slow and steady wins the race. Good luck with it.
  10. Straight vinegar will dissolve rust quickly, (like just a few hours to 36 hours) then it starts eating the good metal under the rust. If the part is 1/2 rusty and 1/2 not then the 1/2 not rusty part gets eaten. Like nuts that are rusty outside but not in the threads, well it makes the threads useless. The damn things will vanish if you leave them in long enough.

    Most molassis recipes are 1 part molassis to 20 parts water. And much slower soak time.
  11. Ebraga9
    Joined: Aug 6, 2014
    Posts: 54


    Thanks for the help you guys, I scored the block for free from my grandfather and just picked it up this past Saturday. I'm going be replacing everything on it. Fist thing first is get it stripped down which I know will be a pain, then get it checked for cracks at a local machine shop. I do t know for sure when I'll be stripping it down but I will let you guys know!! And again thank you!, I just always loved these old engines and I can't wait to see my grandfathers face when his 20year old grandson rebuilds this old girl!!! Thanks again!

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  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 8,917

    anthony myrick

    wheres about in Alabama are ya?
  13. BigJim394
    Joined: Jan 21, 2002
    Posts: 764


    A guy on a Studebaker forum described his method
    Take the heads off and the crank out
    Set the block upside down on a couple of concrete blocks at both ends, so it is about 6-8" off the ground
    Put a Coleman type camping stove under the block, turn it up high and put some junk plywood up against the sides
    Let it "cook" for a good long time until the block is REALLY hot.
    Have some dry ice on hand that you have broken into chunks.
    Put chunks of that dry ice into the "cups" that the bottom of the pistons have become
    The dry ice will rapidly shrink the aluminum pistons and within a few minutes you should be able to drive them out of the block.
  14. That's sounds like a good idea.
    I put races in the freezer and that really helps get things going.
  15. Ebraga9
    Joined: Aug 6, 2014
    Posts: 54


    Thanks ford mike!! Lots of good info on that thread. And thanks everyone else too. Like its titles I'm a young hotrodder and this is my first flathead, thanks for all the help and I'll keep you guys posted. Hopefully I'll start tearing it down for magnafluxing soon

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  16. Ebraga9
    Joined: Aug 6, 2014
    Posts: 54


    Just want to keep you guys informed that I am most likely going to make the motor rebuild a nice winter project. I have a lot going on right now and I'm going to start the rebuild in a few months. I need to save some extra money for the parts lol and read some books to get some more info!! Again thanks for the help guys and ill keep you guys informed

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  17. I wasted time using diesel fuel to try and free up some stuck pistons. After a week of them soaking and me pounding on them with a 2x4 and a bfh, they still weren't moving.
    Let the pistons soak overnight with Coke. Not the diet shit either. Flatheads aren't afraid of a few calories. Next morning, a couple of whacks with the hammer and the pistons popped right out.
  18. Bart78
    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 717


    ATF and acetone 50/50 mix. Works good.

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  19. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907


    As bad as the pistons appear to be, own approach would be to just break them and remove the pieces. I see that someone installed an 8BA head gasket on the right side.
  20. Ebraga9
    Joined: Aug 6, 2014
    Posts: 54


    My dad was giving me some ideas of how he freed up engines back in the day so he'll help me. And yeah I don't know why they put those gaskets on there

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